Condoleezza Being Used By White House - J. Jackson
Condoleezza Being Used By White House - Jesse Jackson
by Richard S. Ehrlich
BANGKOK, Thailand -- U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice does not represent the black community and is being used by a White House which "carefully manipulated images of race," Rev. Jesse L. Jackson said Tuesday (Nov. 4).
"She [Dr. Rice] does not make any pretense of representing the black community," Rev. Jackson said in a taped interview.
"She represents the Bush administration whose civil rights policies at home are deplorable, whose judicial appointments are biased against civil rights," Rev. Jackson said.
"Often, her image as an African-American woman is to soften the image of the face of the administration whose policies are driven by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and Perle and Cheney and Halliburton and Bechtel," Rev. Jackson said.
"I know that the Bush forces have carefully manipulated images of race while [having an] unwillingness to talk with NAACP," he added, referring to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's quest to meet President George W. Bush.
Rev. Jackson, a spokesman for civil rights since the 1960s and an assistant to the late Martin Luther King, Jr., made the remarks shortly after arriving in Thailand where he will speak on Thursday (Nov. 6) at Bangkok's prestigious Thammasat University about the U.S. war in Iraq.
Rev. Jackson, a Baptist minister and the president and founder of the Rainbow/PUSH (People United To Save Humanity) Coalition, said Dr. Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell "are not being duped, they are too intelligent to be duped" by the White House.
"They joined the administration willingly and they support its policies," he said.
"He [Powell] represents an administration whose civil rights policies and civil liberties policies and worker policies at home leave much to be desired, whose Africa policies leave much to be desired," Rev. Jackson said.
"I always say to Powell and Condoleezza -- very brilliant people -- that I respect them very much but we are on different sides of history."
Earlier on Tuesday (Nov. 4), Rev. Jackson told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand: "Those who are now being used to articulate this [Iraq] war are -- I think in a manipulative way -- black and brown."
At the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the international media was often briefed by an African-American spokesman and a Hispanic spokesman, he said.
"That was the international face of the war. And then, back home, you had Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell [who] would go on each network TV, every Sunday. Those are the faces of that war.
"And since you couldn't see the faces of the [American servicemen] killed and the injured in the paper, it kind of blunted the edge of the true nature of the soldiers.
"For example, in the army, 50 percent of the women are black. In the army, the males [are] 35 percent black and 15 percent Latino. Those in the war are disproportionately poor people -- whether white, black or brown -- because they don't have the draft system," Rev. Jackson said.
"But the most able Americans go to the big universities. For them, the war is academic because it did not affect their lives. There are no caskets coming back to Harvard or Yale or Princeton or Columbia or Berkeley or UCLA," he said.
Rev. Jackson also said the Bush administration was hiding the war, including the 16 American servicemen who died when their U.S. Army Chinook helicopter was shot down in Iraq on Sunday (Nov. 2).
"When those bodies come home this week, they will not allow the American media to cover the caskets coming in, nor will the Pentagon release the pictures of those who are dead, [while] trying to dumb-down the sensitivities of the American people," Rev. Jackson told the packed news conference which included foreign diplomats, businessmen and activists.
Neo-conservatives in Washington were also deceiving and dividing America, Rev. Jackson said.
"Neo-conservatives, they are ancient conservatives," he said. "It is almost a revival of civil war lines, of those who are with the Union and those of the Confederates and, by and large, that [neo-conservative] element has supremacist ideas at home about race and religion and foreign affairs," he said.
"These right-wingers are devastating" America, he said.
Richard S. Ehrlich, a freelance journalist who has reported news from Asia for the past 25 years, is co-author of the non-fiction book, "HELLO MY BIG BIG HONEY!" -- Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and Their Revealing Interviews. His web page is http://www.geocities.com/glossograph/